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Akwamu chieftaincy dispute not settled, says Yaa Ansaa family (Thursday, August 1, 2013) Pg 45

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Opanyin Kwesi Oppong (left), Spokesperson for the Yaa Ansaa Royal Family of Akwamu Traditional Area in the Eastern Region, reading a statement at a press conference in Accra, organised by the Royal family to refute a misrepresentation of facts pertaining to the Akwamu chieftaincy dispute.Contrary to reports that the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs has settled the 21-year-old Akwamu chieftaincy dispute, one of the factions, the Yaa Ansaa family, says the issue is far from settled.

According to the family, it felt slighted by what it described as  “offensive statement from Daasebre Oti-Boateng, the immediate past president of the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs”, that the dispute between the Yaa Ansah family and its opposing gate,Yaa Botwe, has been solved through an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism.

Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Monday, Mr Albert  Oppong Akoto, a spokesman for the family, said “the Yaa Ansaa Royal Family rejected the report …

Fast and pray to preserve national unity – clergy admonishes Ghanaians (Friday, August 2, 2013) Front page

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From left: Rt. Rev Francis Amenu, Chairman, Christian Council; Most Rev Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of GCBC; Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, General Overseer of ACI.Three Christian groups have called on their members to fast and intensify their prayers to ensure the sustenance of peace and tranquillity in the country, especially after the Supreme Court delivers its verdict on the election petition.


They have also urged Ghanaians, particularly their members, to make personal vows with God not to derail the peace of the country.
The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) and the Action Chapel International (ACI) made the call in separate statements to the Daily Graphic.

The 22-member CCG, in its statement, declared August 4 to 11, 2013 as a week of fasting and prayers in all congregations and institutions.

The council also pledged to engage its congregations on the need to uphold the peace after the Supreme Court ruling on t…

Court remands NDC youth activists ( August 6, 2013)

The Hohoe Magistrate Court has remanded in prison custody eight out of the 26 people arrested for causing mayhem in the Nkwanta North demonstrations against the District Chief Executive nominated for the area. 

They will reappear on August 12, 2012 to face three counts of conspiracy, unlawful entry and causing damage charges against them.

Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, DSP Cephas Arthur, said after preliminary investigations eight others had been released because there was nothing found against them.

The remaining 10 are, however, on police enquiry bail pending further investigations.

The 26 suspected youth of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Kpasa in the Nkwanta North District in the Volta Region were arrested on Saturday.

The suspects allegedly took part in the vandalisation of property in the town last Thursday.

The irate youth were reported to have gone on the rampage and burnt five of the party’s vehicle…

GSA denies conducting sample test; but Minister insists test has been done (Tuesday, August 6, 2013) Pg 29

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The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has denied conducting a fish sample test along the country’s coast.
“We don’t have any knowledge of such a test. I have contacted our field officers and they are not aware of any such test,” the Public Relations Officer of the authority, Mr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday.

The denial runs contrary to a statement attributed to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mr Nayon Bilijo, that samples of fish tested along the coast from Half Assini to Aflao had revealed that only fish landed at James Town  in Accra was safe for consumption.
Mr Bilijo is reported to have also stated that the test showed that fish caught from other communities along the coast contained harmful chemicals.

“We cannot allow the mass poisoning of Ghanaians to continue, we have to clean up the system and make fish clean for everybody,” the minister was quoted as saying during an inspection tour of cold store facilities at Prampr…

Newspapers must rebrand to survive (Thursday, August 8, 2013, pg 17)

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Washington Post was to Amazon founder, Bezos, for $250 millionAs newspapers face the challenge of low sales globally, players in the industry in Ghana say it is time for the print media in the country to invest more in innovation and online presence.

According to them, while Internet penetration was slow in Ghana and most part of Africa, its capacity to cripple the newspaper industry in the country was real.
However, they all agreed that newspapers would continue to exist, irrespective of the punch lines of the digital era.

The comments of the Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Ken Ashigbey; the Founding Editor of the Independent and Co-Publisher of the Sports Concord, Mr Kabral Blay-Amihere; the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh; the Publisher of the newspapers in the stables of the Western Publications Ghana Limited, Mr Freddy Blay, and the Editor of the Ghanaian Times, Mr David Agbenu, were in reaction to the sale o…

Falling gold prices---Experts brainstorm to reduce impact (Monday, August 15, 2013. Pg 76)

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Public sector players in the minerals industry are meeting in Accra to find ways of reducing the impact of falling gold prices on the Ghanaian economy.

Organised by the Mineral Commission, the workshop is part of a series of brainstorming sessions to ensure that the economic shocks that come with falling gold prices - unemployment and revenue loss - have little impact on the Ghanaian economy. It brought together participants from the Minerals Commission, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ghana Revenue Authority, civil society, and the Bank of Ghana.

After a rather interesting two years of soaring gold prices in 2011 and 2012, the price of the powerful metal has taken a nosedive in 2013, forcing the government to abandon proposed windfall taxes.

From $1,224.53 per ounce in 2010, the prices rose to $1,571 in 2011 and subsequently to $ 1669 per ounce in 2012.

However, in 2013, the price of the precious mineral began its free fall from its historical highest to its l…

GRA shuts down offices of two companies (Friday, August 16, 2013, pg 23)

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Officials of the Ghana Revenue Authority locking up the offices of some of the companies that are not paying tax. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABORThe Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA),  yesterday shut down the offices of  Abraham Construction and Electricals Limited (ACEL), because it issued cheques that were always dishonoured.

Two other companies — Viasat Broadcasting Ghana Limited (VGBL) and K. Asenso Limited, managed to pay GH¢ 123,236 and GH¢ 2,937 respectively to meet their tax obligations.

According to Mr Henry Sam, a Senior  Revenue Officer of the GRA,  ACEL owed GH¢16,582 in taxes for which it issued three cheques on September 30, 2012; October 30, 2012 and November 30, 2012, but all of them bounced.

The GRA official said the authority was compelled to shut down the company because all its attempts to get the company’s officials to honour their tax obligations did not yield any fruit.

Section 34(2) of the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act, 1998 (Act 546) and Section 136 of the In…

FUSSAG to embark on strike on Monday (Friday August 16, 2013) pg 26

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Prof Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang — Minister of EducationJust a few days into the 2013/2014  academic year, the Federation of Universities Senior Staff Associations of Ghana (FUSSAG) yesterday announced an indefinite nationwide strike in all public universities, beginning from Monday, August 19, 2013.

The association took the decision  at an emergency national executive council meeting.

A statement issued by the federation after its meeting, expressed disapproval of the position taken by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to refuse the legitimate demands of senior staff of public universities.

The umbrella body of the university administrators maintained that they would only return to work after concerns relating to their migration onto the Single Spine Salary Structure  (SSSS) had been  addressed.

But reacting to the issues tabled by FUSSAG, Mr Earl Ankrah, the Head of Public Affairs of FWSC told the Daily Graphic issues concerning market premium raised by the…

US issues alert on court verdict • Govt says no cause for alarm (Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013 pg 16)

The American Embassy in Ghana is not out of place in cautioning its citizens to be wary of the political situation in Ghana, the deputy minister of the Interior, Mr James Agalga, has said.
"I don't think the American Embassy, in sending a word of caution to its citizens, is totally out of place because, as a country, we ourselves have sent warnings and cautions to the people many times not to overreact to the verdict.
"For instance, the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and some civil society organisations have called on Ghanaians not to over-celebrate or overreact after the declaration, so the Americans sending a word of caution to their citizens to be careful of what is likely to happen following the Supreme Court verdict on August 29, is not wrong," he said.
The deputy minister, who was reacting to a statement issued by the American Embassy ahead of the Supreme Court verdict, said, "As a ministry and a government, we have, time wit…

MTN to compensate customers (Wednesday, August 21, 2013.)

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0 Comments Mr Paarock Vanpercy (left), Director General of the NCA; Mr Serame Taukobong, MTN CEO.Ghana’s largest mobile network, MTN, says it will offer a percentage of its service charge to compensate its subscribers who were affected by network disruptions last week.

An e-mail in response to Daily Graphic enquiries said, “The mobile licence granted by the NCA to all telecommunications operators sets out what the licensee is obligated to do for its subscribers in the event of a planned or unplanned disruption to its service.

“We wish to assure our customers that, in accordance with the requirements of MTN’s licence, we will offer a percentage of the service charge to our cherished subscribers who were unfortunately affected by the unplanned network disruption.”

Last week was frustrating for millions of MTN subscribers who could not make calls, top up credit or use data bundles.

The National Communications Authority (NCA), in response to the service disruptions, directed …

Two bodies to clean outdoor advertising (Friday, August 23, 2013) Pg 57

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The MCE, Ms Rita Odoley Sowah (middle front row), in a group picture with staff of the assembly, executives and members of the AAG, including its president, Mrs Norkor Duah (3rd left), and Mr Francis Dadzie, the Executive Director.The Advertising Association of Ghana (AAG), the umbrella body of the country’s advertisers, has expressed interest in joining forces with the La Dadekotopon Municipal Assembly (LADMA) to sanitise outdoor advertising in the municipality.

The association has also pledged to mount billboards/signage of the assembly at all boundaries of the assembly to make it more visible.

The commitment by AAG formed part of the highlights of a meeting between the two bodies yesterday to explore areas of interest and co-operation.

LADMA is among the 46 newly created municipal and district assemblies inaugurated last year.  It was carved out of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
The AAG pledged to be the assembly’s development partner and to enforce sta…

Let's take a second look at winner-takes-all system (Friday, August 23, 2013) pg 19

Ghana needs to take a second look at the current winner-takes-all political system to ensure harmony and political balance. 

Making the call at an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) organized roundtable discussions on the Constitution Review in Accra, the participants observed that the winner-takes-all system had led to enmity, division and sabotage of the national agenda.

Mr Ernest Abotsi, a lecturer of the Ghana Institute of Public Administration; Mr Peter Mac Manu, a former New Patriotic Party (NPP) National Chairman; Prof.  Daniel Adzei Bekoe, a Senior Fellow of the IEA; Mr Kwame Pianim, a leading member of the NPP; Prof.  S.K.B Asante, an international consultant and educationist and Mr Alfred Agbesi, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman, all agreed that the current system had polarised the country.

Under the theme, “Ghana’s winner-takes-all system: What are the Alternatives beyond proportional representation?” the programme is part of the IEA Constitution Revi…

No change in judgement date--Despite looming JUSAG strike(Monday, August 26, 2013) pg 3

The Judicial Service has given an assurance that it is making strenuous efforts with the government to resolve the looming strike by the Judicial Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) to pave way for the delivery of judgement on the presidential election petition before the Supreme Court.

According to the Judicial Secretary, Mr Justice Alex B. Poku-Acheampong, “we are making serious efforts to resolve the issue before the judgement date”.

The Supreme Court is billed to deliver its judgement in the petition which is challenging the declaration of President John Mahama as the winner of the 2012 Presidential election.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, Mr Justice Poku-Acheampong explained that the government had so far released some money to settle part of the allowances due the aggrieved staff.

He said the entire work of the Judicial Service was a national assignment and for that reason the service would not relent in its efforts at meeting the demand…

Help protect public purse (August 27, 2013) Pg 33

A senior partner of the international auding firm, KPMG, Mr Joseph B. Winful, has challenged the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) to devise strategies to address the financial malfeasance that has, over the years, affected the public purse.

“Issues coming out of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to do with scandals, malfeasance and irregularities are as a result of the fact that accountancy practice, procedures and principles that were supposed to be effectively undertaken are flawed,” he told the Daily Graphic on the sidelines of a breakfast meeting in Accra to introduce the new CEO of the ICAG, Mr Fred Moore, to members of the institute.

The cataloguing of financial irregularities in the Auditor-General’s Report on ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) and other state enterprises has become an annual ritual that seems to have no effect because the affected MDAs are not seen to be taking any effective actions to address the basic pr…

Robbers attack orphanage-gang-rape caregiver, (Tuesday, August, 27, 2013) Front page

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Inmates of the Lighthouse Chapel Orphanage at Jamaicaso, a neighbourhood in Aburi in the Eastern Region, are yet to recover from the trauma of watching a caregiver being gang-raped, an administrator beaten and a mate injured with the butt of a gun.

The four robbers who attacked the home also ransacked the home, taking away money and various electrical gadgets after brutalising the residents, but the police patrol team that arrived an hour after the incident — around 2.30 a.m. on Sunday — allegedly left without offering any form of protection to the victims.

But the Mampong Police Command discredited the claim, saying it was not aware that an orphanage was even located in the area.

In a move best fit for a movie script, the robbers climbed a concrete wall before entering the main house through a window which is located in a developing area in Aburi and partly surrounded by uncompleted buildings and bushes.

Established six years ago, the orphanage, which is home to 20 chi…

Supreme Court will rule in Ghana's favour (Wed, Aug. 28, 2013) page 32

The Supreme Court ruling on the 2012 presidential election petition will serve the interest of the country, the General Overseer of Action Chapel International, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, has stated.

He said in spite of the fears being expressed, the country would sail through the difficult moments surrounding the petition.

He, however, urged Ghanaians not to stop praying, as the hand of God was crucial at this moment.
“Our true love for this country can be demonstrated through prayer because prayer is a by-product of love.

If you love somebody, you will care, pray and protect that person (Ps 122:6-7). What we do after the verdict will reveal who we truly are — the parties, the security agencies, the media, religious groups and everybody,”  he stressed.

“I believe the Supreme Court will rule in favour of Ghana. It will do what is right for the good of all Ghanaians. We must respect its judgement,” he added.

The Archbishop, who is also the Chairman of the National…

Accra sleeps----As Ghanaians wait for judgment (Friday, August 31, 2013) Back page

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Rawlings park was yesterday quiet and empty before the judgement was delivered. Pictures: EDNA SARKORDIEAn unusually quiet atmosphere, closed shops and empty streets were the defining features of Accra while the country awaited the landmark Supreme Court judgement on the 2012 presidential election petition.
The typical rush hour traffic in the morning that is seen in most parts of the national capital was absent. Instead, the Odorkor-Kaneshie, Circle-Ofankor, Sowutuom-Accra, Adenta-Accra, the Graphic Road and other roads which are notorious for their gridlock were free and virtually empty.
The Oxford Street at Osu, known for its hustle and bustle as the heart of entertainment and business in that part of Accra, was virtually empty.
The police had sealed off the main streets leading to the Supreme Court, while helicopters hovered around, as part of the security details to curb any violence.

Quiet Ministries
The Ministries area, the nerve centre of government business, wa…

Northern sector to get cardio centre (August 31, 2013) Spread

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Minister of Health, Ms Sherry AryeeteyA new cardiothoracic centre is to be established to serve the needs of people in the northern sector of the country, the Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Aryeetey, has announced.
Plans for the project are now being worked out by the ministry.

Ms Aryeetey, who made this known to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, said the project was intended to bring cardiothoracic services closer to the people.

“There is only one heart centre in the country now; it means people from the nine other regions always have to come to Accra for medical attention related to the heart,” she said.

She, however, did not give the specific time when the project would take off, its estimated cost and where it would be located.

The establishment of the new centre will bring to two cardiovascular centres to be built in the country. The other centre is expected to be built at the University of Ghana Teaching Hospital being established in Accra.

Currently, the only heart…

Woyome angry with media reportage

Embattled businessman, Alfred Agbesi Woyome has expressed strong reservations about media reportage about him outside the courtroom.

An obviously angry Woyome stepped out of the courtroom today to confront a team of journalists after the day’s hearing in the High Court presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nassem.

Woyome was just about descending the staircase of the second floor of the court building when he spotted the journalists.

In a video made available to graphic.com.gh, Woyome was seen calling some of the supporters, and thinking that one of the reporters was a Daily Guide reporter asked “are you the Daily Guide reporter?”
They lady responded in the negative.

This appeared to have cooled him down a bit before he launched into his complaints

The Daily Guide had reported on October 17, 2013 that Agbesi Woyome, court after he returned from his trip to the United States returned from the US where he went cool off during the two months legal vacation.

But the publication tickled the wron…

Austrian bank denies woyome (Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013) pg 20

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It has emerged at the trial of Alfred Agbesi Woyome, the businessman accused of defrauding the state, that the letter of support which he claimed signified securing funds for CAN 2008 projects, did not constitute any agreement for the Bank of Austria to provide any funds for any project in Ghana.

A prosecution witness told the Financial Division of the Accra Fast Track High Court, presided over by Mr Justice John Ajet-Nasaam, that during investigations, the Austrian bank, in a letter dated March 30, 2012, had indicated that the “documents had no effect in terms of any financial inflow from the Bank of Austria to the government of Ghana”.



ASP Edmund Odame Okyere, an investigator in the case, led in evidence by a Chief State Attorney, Mr Mathew Amponsah, also told the court that the Austrian bank maintained that the letter in question was also “not a binding offer from them and that it did not provide any fund for any project in Ghana, including CAN 2008”.

Mr Woyome had…

Local IT company defines solution to electoral problems(Wednesday, November 6, 2013) pg 55

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The Chief Executive Officer of Persol Systems Limited, a local software development company, has challenged the Electoral Commission (EC) to use local solutions to deal with challenges confronting the country’s electoral system.

Mr Michael Quarshie said it was time the country moved beyond just looking at the basic way of voting and causing  people to fight at polling stations, since technology existed to fill the gap left by human error.

He was speaking at a demonstration of the company’s biometric voter verification and voting kit in Accra.
The event brought together the leadership of some political parties in the country, civil society and the media.

Features

Among other features, the system is such that it captures the data of persons including those who cannot be verified biometrically, scans ballot papers using  barcodes to eliminate the possibility of ballot stuffing.

The system addressed most of the issues that were at the heart of the New Patriotic Party (N…

CJ calls for non-partisan approach to fight corruption (Monday, November 4, 2013) Pg 16

THE Chief Justice, Mrs  Georgina Theodora Wood, has challenged the Ghanaian media to adopt a non-partisan approach to the fight against corruption to promote accountability.

“The fight against the retractable and pervasive corruption can only be won if the media adopt a non-partisan approach to their role as a mutual body to draw attention to the need for accountability and solutions for tackling the problem,” she said at last Saturday’s Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) Awards night.

The Chief Justice’s remarks came on the heels of a wave of allegations of corruption and impropriety that have engulfed the state.

Over the past few months, reported cases of financial impropriety involving the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Savannah Accelerated Development Authority projects, Subah Infosolutions Limited’s failure to live up to contract terms with the Ghana Revenue Authority to provide telecommunication traffic monitoring, even though …

Media too partisan (Monday, Nov, 4, 2013 Pg 3)

The Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Mahama Ayariga, has advised media houses to empanel experts to discuss specialised subjects, instead of engaging social commentators and political actors who may not have deeper knowledge of the issues at stake.

He expressed worry at the increasing partisan nature of media discourse in which political opponents were usually pitched against one another.

Addressing the 18th Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) Awards in Accra on Saturday, Mr Ayariga urged the media to consider adequate coverage of developmental activities and provide an appropriate platform for the discussion of developmental issues.

“On a daily basis if you listen to our media, you’ll have the impression that there is an election next week, even though elections are three years away,” he said.

Celebrated on the theme, “Promoting Healthy Partnership and Fruitful Partnership in Governance: The Role of the Media”, the event was a moment to honour the count…

20 State agencies to operate one-stop service centre

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Twenty government agencies, including Ghana Post, are to begin operating an integrated administration service centre next year.

The one-stop service centre, which is to be located at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, is being funded by the Eximbank of China at the cost of GH¢ 1.3 million. 

It is scheduled to be completed in the second week of February next year.

The initiative is part of the country’s e-government platform project to provide a one-stop service for the public and also enhance fast and professional delivery of services by the agencies concerned.

Among the 20 government service providers to operate from the centre include the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Water Company Limited, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Ghana Immigration Service and the Ghana Police Service.

At a short ceremony to break the ground for the project, the Minister of Communication, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, said the ministry had key performance indicators and once they were met, t…